A Computer Did That???

For a long time now, as I have perfected my free motion quilting, some of the most common comments that I get from people watching me over my shoulder are:

“Wow! That is so precise it looks like a computer did it!”
“Man I wish I could quilt like that, but I have a computerized system. All I have to do is push buttons and it does it for me!”
And my personal favorite: “That would be so cool if there was a way I could just plug a flash drive into your brain and download your quilting skills!”

Welp, after lots of experimentation, you can probably see where I am going with this. No… I did not figure out how to plant a microchip in my brain to download my skills (if only, amirite??) But! I have basically done the next best thing! I have created a design that is for computerized quilting systems (as well as embroidery machines) that literally looks just as good as my free motion quilting! Last summer, I free-motion quilted this little cutie:

Cute huh? I ended up using this little mini quilt as the cover to my book Graffiti Quilting Volume 2.

Anywho, I have like 10-20 other Graffiti Quilting mini quilts just like this that I have done over the last few years, just free motion quilting each one. On a separate note, I have also created a bunch of Graffiti Quilting themed computerized quilting designs. But, there was always somewhat of a clear distinction between which ones were created on a computer and which ones were free motion quilted.

UNTIL NOW. I have been experimenting for a long time with different modes of technology to try to get my quilting machine to reproduce what I can do with my hands and arms. Thus, my first computerized quilting design (that doesn’t look computerized) was born! It’s called “Karlee’s Graffiti Quilting Wholecloth #1” And it looks like this:

See the similarities between this design and the free motion quilted quilt on my book cover? I essentially used that quilt as a template and digitized it, stitch for stitch, so that my quilting machine could quilt just like me. You know what this means? It means YOUR quilting machine can quilt just like me, too! I digitized it in a way that it quilts out as if I were stitching freehand. This means that there is a lot of overstitching and it’s super dense.

I named it a whole cloth because it isn’t a design that you’d really put into a pieced quilt. But it is more of a stand-alone piece. Once you stitch it out, you essentially have a whole cloth quilt that just needs some binding, or you can incorporate it into other projects. For instance, I used the testing stitch-outs (the fabric that I stitched to make sure the design digitizing was up to my standards) and I made some cute little box pouches out of them.

I am so so excited at how well this design turned out, and I feel like figuring out this new process of digitizing is a game-changer for me as a designer! I remember when I first learned how to digitize quilting designs, and hearing all of these “rules” from seasoned designers like,Β “The design should not overlap or overstitch at all” or “You should be able to follow the design from start to finish and see the exact path it takes” (which definitely makes sense if you plan to also use it for pantographs) or “All of the lines should have an even density throughout the quilt.” All of these rules make sense to an extent. But, it feels like each year as a progress as a designer, I find myself breaking the rules and pushing myself outside of the box a little more with each new design. The thought finally occurred to me that I literally have a computer at my command! It will do whatever I tell it to do! The thoughts and possibilities LITERALLY keep me up at night (along with my new born baby and relentless restless leg syndrome 😂).

Like I said, I decided to name this quilt “Karlee’s Graffiti Quilting Wholecloth #1” because I know there will be many MANY more designs to come. Each one more unique and awesome than the last. So, if you want to pick up this fricken sweet quilting design and quilt it on your own computerized quilting machine, use the following link:


BUT HURRY because this design will only be on sale until this coming Sunday night (Aug 13th, 2017)!

I am so excited to come up with more designs! I will probably never sleep again!

If you are NOT a computerized quilter, DON’T WORRY! There is still something here for you…
All of the designs that I create for this new series will also be available in custom printed fabric form! So all you have to do is order the fabric (available in 3 different sizes) and you can take it right to your quilting machine! Check out how pretty these are:

If you’d like to order one, simply click on the image above and it will take you to the product page!

Be great to each other!





Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

14 thoughts on “A Computer Did That???

  • Tiffany Hayes

    I would really like to know more about the process. What are you drawing on? How are you getting your drawing to Illustrator and then to the pro-stitcher?

    • Karlee Porter Post author

      Hi Tiffany! I have to admit, it is quite an arduous process, but I use an iPad app called astropad, that allows me to draw on my iPad, but directly into illustrator. From there, I still have to manually digitize the design to be compatible with a quilting machine system. But I don’t much care for that software, so I do as much as I can with the pen and pencil tools in illustrator. I noticed that you own a quilt shop in CA, and I am just in Utah! If you ever want to host a Graffiti Quilting workshop, give me a holler! You’re just a stroll away πŸ™‚ info@karleeporter.com


  • Louise

    Wow. Just wow. So I can do this on my embroidery machine? Game changer. On a side note, have you been checked to see if you are anemic? My daughter had restless leg syndrome, and it was a sign Of anemia in her pregnancy. Just thought I’d ask.

    • Karlee Porter Post author

      Yep! You can do this on your embroidery machine! Also, I did find out right after I had my baby that I did have anemia… So that would explain it. I am taking Iron Supplements that are supposed to help. I also have been taking a bunch of magnesium citrate as well, but really the thing that has helped the most is just taking super hot baths whenever I am being kept awake by my restless legs. I just decided that I now shower for the day at 1:30 AM… If I am gonna get in the bath might as well wash up, haha.

  • Pamela Schenck

    Looks exciting. Question; does the machine stop and give me the option to do a thread color change like yours?

    • Karlee Porter Post author

      Great question! Yes, it does. I deliberately put a jump between each color so that it will pause between colors to give you time to change (provided your quilting machine settings are set to pause between jumps). πŸ™‚